Local Officials on Alert After Terror Threat - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Local Officials on Alert After Terror Threat

Authorities all over the world are on high alert.  This comes after suspicious packages were found on cargo planes last week, headed straight to the U.S.

Officials believe the Yemen branch of Al-Qaeda is responsible for planting the bombs on UPS planes, and they also believe they found the person responsible.

Ibrahim Hassan Al Asiri.  U.S. officials are heading to Yemen to hunt him down and other suspects, but before they left they issued a warning to local law enforcement agencies.

The Wichita Falls Police Department received a notice yesterday, although they can't express specifically what that email said they were able to tell News Channel 6 they are taking safety precautions as usual and if anything should happen, they're prepared.

In a statement issued last week President Barack Obama reassured the American people that all steps will be taken when dealing with terrorism, one of those steps is making sure law enforcement agencies from all over the United States are on alert.

"Basically what they're wanting to do is to be sure that people stay diligent and watchful and look for suspicious things that are occurring," said Deputy Chief Manuel Borrego of the Wichita Falls Police Department.

Mail bombs appearing to look like ink cartridges were in route to either Jewish centers or synagogues in Chicago before they were confiscated in England and Dubai.  Officer Borrego tells News Channel 6 there is no need for residents to worry.

"We certainly don't want anybody to start getting concerned or panicked about a briefing that has come out," said Officer Borrego.  "It's more for us as police departments to have that intelligence when you need it or should we feel like it may be affecting something in our area."

Officials from the Wichita Falls Municipal Airport say TSA workers continue to stay on high alert after 9/11 and that mail cargo shipments are rarely received.

For now TSA has ordered a stop in all ground shipments coming from Yemen.

About 50 elite U.S. military experts are in Yemen training its counter terrorism forces.  Washington is giving $150 million in military assistance this year for helicopters, planes and other equipment.

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